What to wear to high-society events!

Summer is upon us, and with it, a slew of high-society events that demand our utmost attention. There’s nothing like finding that perfect outfit, but it can be tricky, as each event has written and unwritten rules on what to wear and what not to wear. But, there’s no need to panic, as there’s plenty of time and more than enough styles and designer brands to go around! Whether it’s Royal Ascot, Henley Regatta, Goodwood, Glyndebourne, or Wimbledon, we’ve got you covered with this list of essential guidelines and tips that will ensure you look the part.

Racing off at Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot has recently updated its dress code, so it’s important to be aware of any changes if you’ve been to this event in recent years. Ascot chief executive Charles Barnett stated that Royal Ascot wants to promote ‘modern and stylish dress,’ as long as it is ‘within the parameters of formal wear.’ So, what are these parameters, then?

Well, ladies are required to wear skirts that fall beneath the knee or lower and a hat or a ‘headpiece which has a base of 4 inches or more in diameter’ (their words, not mine). Strappy or off-the-shoulder tops and dresses are a no-no but you can wear sleeveless. It’s best to start with a dress you like, and then pick a hat, jacket (depending on the weather) and shoes to match. We don’t think you can go wrong with our Eucalyptus dresses, which range from sumptuously summery Rose colours, to navy floral designs, all equally stylish and unequivocally classy. From there, it’s just a matter of finding the perfect jacket or coat and you’re ready to go!

Out of Xile Silk Habotai Top and linen skirt in rose pink available from colmershill.com
Out of Xile Silk Habotai Top and linen skirt in rose pink from colmershill.com

Centre Court at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is a tricky one, but we welcome the challenge, don’t we ladies? You’ll need something trendy and sleek, but also comfortable. As a general rule of thumb, it’s probably best not to go too short or tight – think billowing, stylish, and classy. Plus, you want to make sure you’re feeling comfortable, as you’ll no doubt be sitting down for quite a large part of the day.

If the weather’s good (fingers crossed!), then you’ll need some trendy sunglasses to protect you from the sun. As stylish as they may be, it’s a tad frowned upon to wear big hats to Wimbledon, as it can obscure the view for the person sitting behind you. These stylish Powder Sunglasses come in a variety of styles and will keep your eyes protected from the sun.

Powder tortoiseshell sunglasses from www.colmershill.com
Powder tortoiseshell sunglasses from http://www.colmershill.com

Looking Good at Goodwood

At Goodwood, like with many of these events, the dress code varies depending on which enclosure you’ve chosen. Make sure you’re aware of the differences before you start composing your outfit!

Eucalyptus Lily May Dress from colmershill.com

Unlike Wimbledon, hats are more than welcome and will give your outfit that extra sparkle. Plus, they are great in combination with retro dresses, which provides that incredibly sought-after vintage look. The Eucalyptus Lily May dress is perfect for this, as the red and white floral patterns can be effortlessly combined with a light cardigan and a stylish hat.  Retuned also have a great selection of classy summery dresses which would be perfect for Goodwood. Make sure to check out the Retuned Emily Red Floral Dress, which is both subtle and intricate at the same time.

P.S. The organisers explicitly mention on the website that they don’t advise stiletto heels, as the terrain can be a bit up and down, so make sure to keep this in mind when you’re putting your outfit together!

Retuned Red Floral smocked dress £69 available on colmershill.com
Retuned Red Floral smocked dress £69
Retuned retro styled lemon and navy print dress available at colmershill.com
Retuned retro styled lemon and navy print dress

Time to shine at Glyndebourne

If you’re going to Glyndebourne and you love full evening dress, then you’re in luck! If I had to pick one brand that stuck out from the rest for this occasion it would be Out of Xile, as they pretty much have everything you need to look as classy as is womanly possible! They’ve got a simply beautiful collection of bubble skirts and gorgeous Bell Dresses from their Ribbon Stripe Collection, which all come paired with their own elegant and unique design elements.

If you’re looking for a coat to combine this with, check out this gorgeous Out of Xile Linen Coat – the perfect addition to any classy outfit. It features intricate floral details on the collar and the back, providing just a little more intrigue, without compromising on the subtle nature that is so characteristic of the Out of Xile look.

Out of Xile bubble hem dress (or skirt) with Andrea Top available from colmershill.com
Out of Xile bubble hem dress (or skirt) with Andrea Top

Going Traditional at Henley Regatta

When it comes to the dress codes, we’ve saved the strictest for last. Henly Regatta is known for its strict guidelines so it’s important to get it right.

The dress code is meant to emulate that of a traditional English Garden Party, so think traditional clothes with a real vintage look. Trousers are a big no-no, so it’s time to get out your traditional Edwardian-styled dresses. For coats think of something along the lines of the Out of Xile Crinkle Collection Coat, a luxuriously ornate design with knotted details on the front and back, resembling rose buds. Perfect for the summer season!

Colmers Hill Fashion are here to help!

At Colmers Hill, we don’t do mediocre service. We guarantee one on one style advice and can help you prepare for any events, whether it’s the British High Society events or not. In short, we help you compose flattering outfits that truly mirror your unique personality. So, please don’t be shy, as you can always contact us for any style advice or questions about our clothes.

Credits: Images from Simon Emmett Photography, Fiona Baker Millinery for providing the fabulous hats and Jane Briggs-Harrison @janelymehair for the hair styling

We won!! Colmers Hill Fashion named UK online boutique of the year

Colmers Hill Fashion wins Best UK Online Boutique for its website www.colmershill.com
The badge of honour!

You could have knocked us over with a feather when the phone call came in saying that  www.colmershill.com had won Best UK Online Boutique category of The Boutique Awards, hosted by The Boutique Hub.  Surprised, shocked, proud, happy – yes, all of those.

 

The team (especially Penny because she does most of the work) hasn’t stopped smiling ever since. When Penny set up the business two years ago, she only had £5,000 to invest. All the money went on stock and she had to do everything herself – even really horrible things like SEO. She  built the current website and worked hard to find low cost ways to get Colmers Hill on the map. 

 

What makes this a special achievement is also the economic climate. Apparently,  according to the experts, we’re in the midst of a ‘Retail Apocalypse’, which sounds really nasty. And it is, if you’re a big high street brand. On the up-side, it’s the small businesses like ours which are bucking the trend. You – our lovely customers are making this happen by buying local and choosing independent boutiques. Thank you so much! Please can you carry on?  

 

You can be reassured that this fame hasn’t gone to our heads. We almost forgot to write a blog about it because we’ve been unpacking, pricing and uploading gorgeous new Autumn stock from our faves Myrine, Luella and Out of Xile but also new labels Cotton Brothers, Soaked in Luxury and Ralston.

 

If you haven’t shopped online with us before, you’ll find the same friendly personal service and attention to detail that you’d get if you were shopping with us in person.

 

Next up, our Autumn round-up of what’s hot this month!

 

 

 

 

Why personal fashion style is all about meat and potatoes!

This blog is all about how to create the perfect wardrobe.  How you choose clothes that are useful and also inspire you. How to experiment with fashion and be more individual in your fashion style. How to avoid overdoing it, without playing it too safe?

Designer Michael Kors said: “70% of the clothes you own should be meat and potatoes. 30% should be icing and fluff—that’s color, pattern, shine, accessories.  Too many women get the proportions the other way round, then can’t figure out why they can’t get dressed.”

Erm ok, so let’s take a look at the meat, potatoes icing and fluff. Or maybe a more appealing metaphor is a cupcake: a perfect vanilla sponge topped with your choice of icing and decoration.

Best fashion basics

Two thirds of our wardrobe should be hard-working basics. These will be well-fitting, stylish and versatile.  For us at Colmers Hill, this would be our deck super slimming capris or full length trousers. Alternatively, Myrine Emil trousers.  Your colour palette will certainly include neutrals in both dark and light shades such as navy, petrol blue, black, charcoal, sand, silver, ivory, or white.  Choose shades that are the most useful for you.

D.E.C.K trousers (£59) coupled with the Cocoa 100% Cashmere Boxy Cardigan (£210.00)
D.E.C.K trousers (£59) coupled with the Cocoa 100% Cashmere Boxy Cardigan (£210.00)

Skirt basics include simple cuts and colours with enough detail to keep you interested and give you shape. A pencil skirt from Eucalyptus or a midi skirt from A Postcard from Brighton are also great staples.

Adding colour, pattern and shine

This is the icing and decoration on your cupcake. Detail on clothing is a very personal thing and everyone has their favourites as well as their absolute no-no’s.  Some of us love stripes and hate florals, others love florals but hate sparkle, another wince at a frill but love a pintuck – you get the gist. When it comes to sparkle and shine, some of us are happier with a muted metallic whilst others want the full bling – with extra bling.

When an item of clothing or an accessory appeals to us, it’s an emotional reaction. We don’t think too much about it. Enough to say, it gives us a lift. It’s great to express ourselves with the fun aspects of fashion.  We don’t need to take it too seriously but if you’re worried about overdoing it, stick to either sparkle or pattern but not both on the same garment. Many of us get stuck in a rut, thinking we can never wear florals or geometrics or diamante but keep an open mind and give things a try. We change as we get older and our fashion style needs to keep up!

Darling Quinn top (£35) from Colmers Hill Fashion
Darling Quinn top (£35)

Here are some of our very favourite ‘toppings’

Darling Dion top: lovely ivory crepe tops with pearl trim.

Cocoa pure cashmere jumper: amazing colour with a contrast trim and button back.

Myrine floral tunic top: an unusual wildflower pattern does all the work.

Out of Xile vintage tulle edge cardigan: gorgeous colours and just the right amount of lace.

Darling Fara top in duck egg blue: pleats along the hem and cuffs give this top a lovely swing.

Of course, you can switch things around and have your icing on the bottom eg our metallic print jeans and your cake on top with a simple ivory blouse from Darling.

Floral print stretch mid-rise jeans available at Colmers Hill Fashion £45
Floral print stretch jeans available at Colmers Hill Fashion £45 worn with a simple basic A Postcard From Brighton vest top

 

Since we discovered Michael Kors’s quote, we’ve all been taking a good, hard look into our wardrobes at home and working out how close we are to the 70% rule. Suffice to say, there’s work to be done but at least we’re heading in the right direction!

The next blog will be about Wardrobe Malfunctions. Yup – we’ve all been there.

Colmers Hill Fashion is holding its first Styling Masterclass in the Autumn with top stylist Lindsay Punch. The class will teach you how to put together a “meat & potato” wardrobe from the new Autumn collection at Colmers Hill! For tickets or more information see details on our Facebook Event Page.

Autumn Style Masterclass at Colmers Hill Fashion with stylist Lindsay Punch
Autumn Style Masterclass at Colmers Hill Fashion with stylist Lindsay Punch

Photography courtesy of Simon Emmett Images

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